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Video format H.265 approved – paves the way for 4k streaming

Posted at 28 January 2013 18:55 CEST by Jan Willem Aldershoff

The United Nations has approved a new video format that requires half the bit rate for the same quality of video as today’s most used video format. The new format called H.265 or High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) is the successor of H.264, according to the UN currently used in 80% of all web videos.  The approval comes from the ITU, the agency for information and communication technology from the UN which only allows countries as members. Nevertheless it’s expected that the format will be supported by all major tech companies.

The format makes it possible to stream 1080p content on half the bandwidth of videos encoded with H.264. This makes High Definition video available for users that previously didn’t have enough bandwidth. For those with fast internet connections it could also pave the way for Ultra High Definition / 4K streaming which would require about 20-30 Mbit with H.265.

For H.265 to become popular we’ll first need to wait till companies release software and hardware supporting the format. The first announcements have already been made, Broadcom and Qualcom have announced encoding chips and Samsung has announced it will support it in certain TVs.

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There are 2 comments

TSJnachos117
MyCE Senior Member
Posted on: 29 Jan 13 01:26
    If we're all lucky there will eventually be some 100% free/open source encoder, perhaps an X.264 fork modded for HEVC. I imagine that might not happen for some time, though (if ever). Between the amount of time and effort it would take to write the software, and the fact that this, like many other MPEG/ITU videos, is crawling with patents, this may not be feasible at all.

    But, it's happened with other patent-encumbered formats, so anything's possible.
    debro
    Blown to smitherines
    Posted on: 29 Jan 13 03:40
      There will be an x265 encoder/decoder free ware eventually. Give it 2 years or so.
      It would be fantastic if they considered backwards inter operability when they develop these new products ... but then, they wouldn't get paid if everyone could keep their old gear, would they?

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